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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Goals Update: March 2017

All in all, this has been a pretty great month! For the first time I actually feel like I might be able to hit my target.

Do physical fun stuff 4x a week

It's been a hard month. I got my new weights, and immediately did some damage to my left thigh. After getting an ACL reconstruction last year it means that both of my knees hurt now. At 26, urgh. It's not the best feeling. I've been skating a bit more than in past months and went out slack-lining a couple of times. I still haven't gotten back out rock-climbing since derby came back, but I did go fishing once!

Next month I'm actually going to record what I do and what day. I don't feel like I'm achieving this goal, so I need a bit more transparency on it.

Grade: C

Create something each month

Ermm, no. I launched a Facebook group for this blog and I've seen a massive spike in readers (690 views in February, 1,800 in March) but I haven't created anything else. I guess the blog counts as a creative outlet, and I love doing it, but it doesn't have the same satisfaction as building something new like my superannuation calculator, the million dollar calculator, or building a new chicken coop.

Grade: C

Apply for one freelance task a week

Finally some success! I wrote four short articles and made $29.60. I've also got another article in the pipeline that I'll be paid $16 for.

Grade: A+

And now, the money!

Here we go

March Totals


Investment Property #1$1097.30
Investment Property #2$0
Cash Dividends$83.50


Nothing exciting here. I work, I get paid.

Side gigs

I made $29.60USD on UpWork, but I haven't cashed it out yet, so I haven't listed it here. UpWork charges a flat fee every time you cash out, so I like to do it in bigger chunks. I made $7 from selling eggs though! Pets that make a profit are wonderful!


I bought home entirely in my name, but my partner lives here. He pays half of all the bills, plus $300 a fortnight in rent. Pretty sweet deal.

Investment property #1

A standard month.

Investment property #2

*gasp* Oh my, where did that come from!? Well, technically it doesn't exist yet. But I have some expenses for going out researching, so I added the zero income - watch this space! Although with settlements being over a month don't expect anything too soon.


Trucking along nicely. I have some bonds that will be redeemed next month and I'll have an extra $5k to play with, you can weigh in on what I should do with it in an earlier post.

Investment performance

DepositReinvested DividendsAnnual Return
Disclaimer: I'm definitely calculating my returns in a weird way. Current Value divided by Amount Invested equals Overall Return. The number is then adjusted to be annual. It means if I dump in a huge sum of money my return appears to go down. Therefore the return quoted here is a conservative number and I'm okay with that.


SpentBudgetedAnnual Average
Home$1,279.89$1,250$1,319.95 (down $2.14
Investment Property #1$909.39$1,250$1.613.60 (down $82.86)
Investment Property #2$598.73$600$49.89 (up $49.89)
Personal Bills$140.60$147.08$102.68 (up $6.30)
Groceries$102.30$200$183.26 (down $11.83)
Pets$44.69$30$21.67 (up $3.72)
Derby$97.26$100$78.51 (up $3.94)
Travel$0$108$131.19 (no change)
Other$46.94$250$533.51 (down $10.03)
Total$3,219.80$4,026$4,034.26 (down $42.63)

Home (Over $28.89)

Gas and Electricity bills this month. And we're over by less than $30, so I'm calling that a massive win! Bring on a bill free month.

Investment Property #1 (Under $340.61)

Just one bill for the annual insurance.

Investment Property #2 (Over $1.27)

Woah, where did this come from! Mr. FIRE and I have been working with a property coach for a few months and we hopped a plane on Saturday to do some research in Melbourne. I might have something super interesting to share soon...

If we go with the place we're looking at I'll be putting in $230 a fortnight towards this property once it's settled. In theory it will be slightly cashflow negative at the beginning (about $10 a week). Mr. FIRE and I have agreed to put money towards it as if everything went wrong and we were bleeding money. That way we'll have a buffer and pay down our mortgage faster.

Personal Bills (Under $6.40)

This is my phone bill and health insurance, it should never change - except it did! My premiums went up on my insurance this year, an extra 7.5%. Huge increase and still the best on the market, hey at least I'm not living in America! I've upped the annual budget in this one to account for the change in premiums that start next month. Urgh.

The average is low because I upgraded my health insurance to include hospital cover in January. So the average is reflecting the old, lower cover and will steadily come up across the year.

Groceries (Under $97.70)

We're riding on the coat tails of a big stock up last month and using credit card rewards I bought $125 of groceries for a mere $25. Thanks giant supermarket chain, I'll happily take those freebies you're offering!

Pets (Over $14.69)

I bought $35 worth of chicken pellets which should last a couple of months and Mr. FIRE paid for a round of cat food. After tracking this properly for a few month I can see that $25 a month was far too low and I've upped the budget to $30 a month.

Derby (Under $2.74)

Dues and I booked my return flight from Queensland for TWELVE DOLLARS! Hell yeah! Paired with my $40 flight there I am thrilled with all the credit card rewards I've been able to take advantage of. I spent $4 at the second hand store on a striped shirt because the proper uniform I ordered still hadn't arrived when I needed it!

On the plus side, derby has been consistently cheaper than I expected so I've shaved a bit out of this budget. Let's see how that turns out.

Travel (Under $108)

No travel, no spend. Easy peasy :) Any travel for derby is counted in the derby category. The average isn't dropping because I also spent nothing this month last year.

Other (Under a massive $203.06)

$4 on a friends birthday. Good start! $70 on a massage and $10 on beers, but I got a $50 rebate on my credit card that went towards the massage. I also spent $6 on a gorgeous pair of tights second hand that probably would have sold for $30+ when they were new.

I am so proud of me! I had a massage, I bought some beers, I generally had a wonderful month and I spent absolutely bugger all on it! By making a list of things that I want I've been able to feel like I'm progressing towards having them and appeasing my immediate "I want" reflex, but I haven't spent on those things and I don't miss not having them. The list is working well!

Mike and I also went out fishing! Watch this space for a blog about it, but for $7 worth of bait we spent 5 hours on the beach. We went as the tide was coming in and fish where everywhere! Unfortunately they were all little ones so we only brought one home. Then we discovered that we need to learn how to fillet properly. After completely stuffing it up, we ended up throwing the entire fish to the hens, woops!

Savings Goal

High Interest: $5,075.06
Offset Balance: $8,450.54
Owing on Credit Cards: $1,720.78
Total: $11,804.82

Increase from last month: $3,069.20
Amount remaining: $8,195.18 (approx $2,731 a month)

I finally saved more in a month than I needed! Finally. I'm less excited than I should be though because I need to pull off the same trick three more times, and there will be bills. I'm also lining up to buy another property (detailed post to come, I promise) which will mean a whole new layer of expenses. Yes there will be income, but there will be all the purchase expenses up front.

It also goes to show what procrastination can do to you. If I had stuck to the path back in December I only needed to save $2,100 a month, 36% of my income. After a couple of unexpected costs and not watching my spending I'm up to needing to save $2,731, or 46% of my income. I can't go back and change what I've done but I can sigh, shake my head at myself and push to do better.

Check out this handy-dandy chart to see how well I'm (not) doing.

Check out the history of this goal:


  1. Awesome job this month. I am especially impressed with the work you got on UpWork. I have never tried it myself but have heard it's very difficult to compete on there, so it's great that you got four jobs with another one on the way!

    Looking forward to the fishing post!

    1. I'm not going to lie - the rates on UpWork are terrible. I'm currently getting paid $5 for a 500word article, which amounts to about an hours work. Thankfully they are really light pieces because if I needed to put any more in I wouldn't be willing to work for so cheap.

      The only reason I'm currently accepting these low cost roles is so that I can build a history so I can start pushing for higher rates.

      It's really hard because most of the competition is in India and similar low cost countries.

      But yay for fishing right? :)

  2. I'm very curious to know what you'll do with that $5k from bonds. Also, I'd be interested to read a play-by-play of how you're deciding to invest in the 2nd rental property? Flying to Melbourne for it is very intriguing..

    Mrs DDU

    1. All in due time! I've half written a couple of posts, but until the property settles everything is a bit fuzzy wuzzy. We're sending back contracts today though - exciting stuff!


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